Filed under: Healthy Swellness

Healthy Swellness: 3 surprising heart facts you need to know if you have type 2 diabetes

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It was only in the last decade or so when I learned about the serious complications that can result from type 2 diabetes.

I had thought diabetes was something most people could manage and control with medication and by improving lifestyle habits, yet research studies have shown that 1 in 2 people who have type 2 diabetes will die from heart disease.

When coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year, especially among the Chinese Canadian population where the incidence of diabetes jumped 15-fold between 1996 and 2005, those numbers are devastating.

While I don’t personally have a family history of diabetes, we do have a family history of heart disease, and so I know it’s smart to focus on healthy lifestyle habits that reduce my risk factors for both – including keeping active and trying to manage my stress levels (which, for me, means getting out in nature to hike or run with my dog).

Chinese Canadians are at a much higher risk of a diabetes diagnosis than Canadians of European descent, due to a combination of genetics and lifestyle changes. When I think of the people I know who have type 2 diabetes, and that half of them may not live to see their kids grow up, or go on that dream vacation they’ve got on their bucket list, or even simply enjoy everyday things for many years to come, like going for a walk with their dog, it’s heartbreaking. Which is why I think it’s important that we raise awareness around the connection between diabetes and heart disease. It could save lives.

Three things you need to know about type 2 diabetes and heart health:

 

  1. Diabetes significantly increases your risk of dying of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Although most people with diabetes feel they are knowledgeable about how to manage their diabetes, more than half are unaware of the impact their diabetes has on their risk of heart disease.
  2. Simply controlling your blood sugar levels may not be enough if you have a history of heart disease While it is a critical part of managing your diabetes, there are medications that, along with following a healthy diet and exercise, have been shown to lower your risk of dying from problems related to your heart and blood vessels.
  3. People with type 2 diabetes develop heart disease at an earlier age than those without diabetes. How much earlier? 10 to 15 years earlier than those who do not have type 2 diabetes.

 

 

All of which is to say that there is no better time than now to take managing your type 2 diabetes and heart health to the next level if you aren’t already, or to encourage the loved ones in your life to do so themselves.

You can learn more at myheartmatters.ca, where you’ll also find a useful risk assessment tool to help determine what your personal risk is when it comes to type 2 diabetes-related heart disease. The more you know now, the more you can do to improve your health and reduce those odds of heart disease.

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Leave a Comment November 22, 2018

Healthy Swellness: How to keep your tooth enamel strong

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I’ve been eating limes and tomatoes all summer long: guacamole, caprese salad, ceviche, bolognese sauce, margaritas, you name it. But I just learned something new: these two foods are acidic (that I knew) but did you know that the acids in them and other foods can weaken and erode tooth enamel?

Which is a concern since, well, we only get one set of adult teeth. And maintaining a strong enamel is very important because if you allow it to weaken, the entire tooth is more susceptible to decay. The good news is that you (and I!) can keep on eating these delicious foods (I refuse to give up guac, who’s with me on that?!) and minimize the wear on your enamel by using a toothpaste that includes baking soda, such as Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Toothpaste. This toothpaste differs from other toothpastes because the inclusion of the natural ingredient of baking soda neutralizes the plaque acids that can weaken tooth enamel and cause teeth to lose minerals. The baking soda and fluoride in A&H toothpaste actually helps to restore the minerals in your teeth, so in the long-term your teeth and gums are stronger and healthier.

And yes, other regular toothpastes will also help keep your teeth strong and healthy but not only do they lack in having the benefit of neutralizing baking soda, research findings show that Arm & Hammer toothpastes is better at removing more plaque in hard-to-reach areas around the tooth and gums compared to non-baking soda varieties.

Another nice feature about the baking soda in A&H toothpastes? It gently but effectively removes bacterial plaque, which can stain; hello brighter, whiter teeth! I know I’ve used baking soda and water to gently cleanse items from my kitchen (like coffee-stained mugs) so it works in a similar way brightening your teeth for a fresh smile.

So I’m definitely continuing to eat my fave foods, and have a new fave recipe from nutritionist Keri Glassman that’ll put that baking soda in A&H toothpaste to work: Cilantro Lime Avocado Yogurt Dip. It’s light and refreshing and loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. Here’s the recipe because sharing is caring. Enjoy!

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Cilantro Lime Avocado Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ garlic clove
  • Juice 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon tahini

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

Happy eating (and brushing)!

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Leave a Comment August 31, 2018

Healthy Swellness: My 100-nights of Endy review

 

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Finally, my sleeping beauty report! If you recall, a few months ago I partnered with Endy and received an Endy mattress, pillows and sheets to try out.

This Canadian-owned mattress company has a 100-night trial for all of their customers, which I think is a great bonus since who can tell from a brief lie-down that a mattress offers what you like in a mattress?

And I was especially grateful for this risk-free trial period with the Endy mattress because it took me about a month until I was truly enjoying this mattress. I had high expectations from the get-go, because everyone I knew who has an Endy seems to adore it so much. And my first few weeks, I wasn’t digging it and I couldn’t see how my experience was so different.

For several weeks, I felt super aware that it was not the coil-type mattress I’d grown up with, and as a result I felt like I’d wake up in the night and would get up in the morning feeling out of sorts. Not in pain but with my muscles feeling a bit ache-y, as though my body was just slightly off kilter. And, I worried I’d made the wrong mattress choice (even though, yes, I was still in the trial period).

Over time, though, I noticed that the general aches subsided (keep in mind, those aches may have been tied to other factors such as my running and workout regimen), and I was growing to love the Endy mattress. It offers enough firmness that when you sit on the edge of the mattress, it doesn’t sink, and yet when you lie down it has a great plushness. That nice give, though, is just the right amount, as it also offers a level of firmness I look for in a mattress. The mattress’s comfort and firmness is thanks to its open air cell structure, which provides support while reucing pressure but also contouring to your body. I look forward now to jumping into bed each night. As you can see in the photo above, Billie Jean very much enjoys the Endy as well!

While the mattress took some time to adjust to, I loved the Endy pillows immediately. I left them as is (you can adjust how plush and full they are by removing or adding foam to the pillow core) and they offer the support my head and neck needs. As someone who has often suffered from neck pain, I really appreciate these pillows doing exactly what I need them to do.

The Endy sheets are also a dream. They’re ultra soft and feel great on your skin, and I love that there is the Endy name embroidered on one end so you can easily identify what direction to put the sheet onto your mattress.

My advice to you if you’re interested in the Endy: Make full use of the 100-night trial because the adjustment period may be longer than you expect. And definitely get a set of the sheets as well. The pillows are probably a bit more subjective, but worth trying out (Endy offers a 60-night trial on the pillows so it’s risk-free, too!).

While I’m still working on improving my sleep habits (although I have managed to get to bed before midnight a few times in the last few months!), the sleep I am having is cozy and comfortable and providing the rest and recovery I need. I have the good sleeping set-up, now just need to work on better habits.

Have you switched to an Endy? What’s your experience been with this foam mattress? And here’s something fun if you want to buy an Endy: I’ve got a discount code for you! Use the code KAREN50 and you’ll save $50 off of anysize Endy mattress. Enjoy!

#endypartner

Leave a Comment June 13, 2018

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